Monthly Archives: October 2012

‘The Hunger Games’ Countdown: Halloween, Panem-Style

JenniferLawrenceHauntedHouseWe’ve got a handful of cast photos floating around the Web worth checking out. Woody Harrelson steps out of Haymitch’s shoes to enjoy some Lenny Kravitz music while franchise newcomers Lynn Cohen, Stephanie Leigh Schlund, Meta Golding and Bruno Gunn posed with the cast of Cirque Du Soleil Totem after the show’s premiere. Looks like they’re all having a blast, but the thing that catches my eye is how comfortable Cohen looks hanging out on one of the performer’s back. HG Girl on Fire tracked down a holiday-appropriate shot of Jennifer Lawrence. She may be rough and tough as Katniss, but when it comes to haunted houses, clearly Lawrence is vulnerable to a good scare.

Catching Fires’ Plutarch Heavensbee, Philip Seymour Hoffman, got chatty with The Independent, mainly discussing The Master but also touching on the Hunger Games books, revealing, “I’m in the middle of reading the last one now; they’re very special.” I’ll leave it at that as the second quote is a bit of a spoiler, but if you’d like to read on, check out the full article right here. Toby Jones is on a press tour as well for his upcoming release The Girl, but ET Online got to him about Catching Fire. When asked about the state of the script, Jones responds, “It’s a bit of relief, I must say. I was worried it might just be repetitive, but it’s not. The script is just tremendous!”

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Interview: The Bay’s Kether Donohue

It isn’t easy being an up and coming actress in the film industry, but if you want to hit it big, sometimes you’ve got to go head-to-head with some vicious, tongue-eating isopods.

Barry Levinson’s “The Bay” features Kether Donohue as Donna Thompson, a wannabe reporter interning for a local news station whose first assignment happens to be covering the Independence Day festival in Claridge, Maryland, a town located just alongside the Chesapeake Bay. While she and her cameraman are getting footage of the town dunk tank and crab eating contest, something is brewing in the water nearby, or rather at that point, inside the Claridge residents. All of a sudden, the townsfolk start breaking out in terrible rashes, losing their minds and, ultimately, dropping dead, and Donna is right there in the middle of the mayhem.

“The Bay” has a lot of characters and a lot of horrific scenarios, but what makes Donna’s ordeal stand out from the lot is that she’s the one guiding us through the experience. With “The Bay” due for a November 2nd debut, Donohue took the time to dish on the responsibility of pulling all the found footage together, working with Academy Award winning director Barry Levinson, a deleted scene from the film, her hopes of reuniting with “Pitch Perfect” producer Elizabeth Banks and much more. Check it all out in the interview below.

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Interview: Dick Night Writer-Director-Producer Andy Viner

As someone currently pursuing a master’s in film producing, I’m immensely impressed by film school students who go on to make their first features a reality, and so is the case with Andy Viner and his movie, “Dick Night.”

The film focuses on Rachel (Jennifer June Ross), an ex-bride-to-be who can’t recover from being left at the altar. However, today’s the today she’s going to ditch her pajamas and pizza and try to get her life back on track. The only problem? Those darn vicious vampires living next door!

In honor of “Dick Night’s” October 30th debut, Viner took the time to chat about his journey from film school at USC to becoming an accomplished director with a film available on Amazon Instant Video, YouTube, iTunes and more. Check out what Viner had to say about acting as writer, director and producer, filming in a working hospital, stitching together elements of comedy and horror, and much more in the interview below.

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Review: Silent Hill: Revelation 3D

A shirtless guy gets shot, he falls to the ground, the main character presumes him dead yet he’s clearly still breathing. No, he doesn’t get up for that cliché one last scare, the film just moves on. And that’s one of the lesser ways in which “Silent Hill: Revelation 3D” asks the viewer to suspend his or her belief.

Six years after the events of the first film, Sharon is all grown up and goes by the name Heather Mason (Adelaide Clemens). She and her dad, Harry (Sean Bean), have been on the run ever since escaping Silent Hill, but with no memory of her past, Heather is unaware of what she’s truly running from. However, on the eve of her 18th birthday, Heather comes home to find Harry missing and the message “Come to Silent Hill” written on the wall in a bloody scrawl. With the help of a guy from school named Vincent (Kit Harington), Heather heeds the call and returns to the town of ash, creepy nurses, mannequin monsters and bloody bunnies.

“Silent Hill: Revelation” didn’t sound all that bad until that last sentence, did it? The 2006 film wasn’t the worst of the worst, but most certainly didn’t warrant a sequel, yet “Revelation” still had potential. Silent Hill is a cinematic town, packed with tons of curious creatures and vivid design elements as well as an ever-falling ash that’s ideal for 3D. But sadly, whether you’re a fan of the source material or not, the “Silent Hill: Revelation” narrative is so expositional and nonsensical, it drags all other portions of the production down with it.

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The Best – and Worst – Movie Promos of the Week

WarmBodiesPosterNote: While not an official promo, Lana Wachowski’s poignant speech at the Human Rights Campaign San Francisco gala will undoubtedly earn her some reverence and, in turn, draw some attention to Cloud Atlas. But again, not an official promo, so the Best Stuff honors had to go to three other contenders, albeit worthy ones.


The Best Stuff

1. Unlock the 007 in You: A little something is telling me this is too good to be true, but who cares? This is the best promotional experience ever, both for the guys participating and for us folks watching the action at home. Forget a two-minute video; I want an entire game show based on this concept, and the background tune while Coke Zero’s at it.

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Interview: Silent Hill: Revelation 3D Writer-Director Michael J. Bassett

Expectations are always sky high when making a feature film, but the pressure is on more so than ever when you’re adapting material with a strong fan base, and so is the case with writer-director Michael J. Bassett and “Silent Hill: Revelation 3D.”

The film has roots in the third game of the franchise, focusing on an 18-year-old Sharon, now going by the name Heather Mason (Adelaide Clemens). Ever since her escape from Silent Hill, she and her father, Harry (Sean Bean), have been on the run, but because Heather remembers nothing from her time in the town of evil creatures and falling ash, she doesn’t even know what she’s up against. When her father is abducted and a bloody message instructs her to “Come to Silent Hill,” Heather’s got no choice, but to re-enter her worst nightmare.

And Heather’s worst nightmare is more like Bassett’s dream come true. An avid fan of the games and the 2006 film, Bassett’s “Silent Hill” is oozing with grisly imagery, vicious creatures and nods to the game, making the landscape a “Silent Hill” and horror fan’s playground. With “Silent Hill: Revelation 3D” due in theaters on October 26th, Bassett took the time to sit down and explain how he put this new nightmare together from picking up where Christophe Gans left off to slipping in Robbie the Rabbit and more. Check out all the details in the interview below and beware, Alessa doesn’t appreciate disturbances.

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Review: Cloud Atlas

Usually when I catch a movie, I’m busy scribbling down notes, some of which pertain to the film’s plot, just so I’ve got the facts straight when writing the review. However, in the case of “Cloud Atlas,” not only did I want to save my hand all that stress, but thought it’d be interesting to see what stuck after the 164-minute multiple storyline epic without writing a single note or looking at the press notes. No book, no notes, no Googling. This is what I took from “Cloud Atlas.”

We’ve got quite a few characters and storylines in play here. There’s Tom Hanks’ Zachary, a man living in a village, fighting off a vicious enemy tribe while assisting Halle Berry’s space-age character in her quest to send a call for help to her home planet. In the 1800s, one of Jim Sturgess’ characters befriends an escaped slave while sailing home to his wife. In the early 1900s, Ben Whishaw’s Frobisher goes to work for a famous composer where he gets the inspiration to pen the Cloud Atlas Sextet. In the 1970s, Berry is a journalist who catches wind of a scandal and is chased by a corporation assassin trying to stop her from exposing the story. In the present we get Timothy Cavendish, a man who’s tricked into signing himself into an old age home by his brother. Finally, well into the future, we meet Sonmi, one of many identical robot-like humans who are made to staff a fast food restaurant. They’re designed to sleep in their boxes, wake and go to work, but one day, Sonmi can’t help, but to recognize that she’s got hopes, dreams and feelings.

I can’t believe it, but I think I actually managed to account for every “Cloud Atlas” scenario. Yes, they’re merely simplistic descriptions of the stories, but when you’ve got a total of six narratives within a single film that don’t connect on a literal level and are all playing out simultaneously, it’s a wonder how someone can keep track of them all after a single viewing. And perhaps that goes to show that writer-directors Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski and Andy Wachowski did achieve a degree of success with their unusual methods.

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